Living in a space that doesn’t get enough natural light or doesn’t have a window can be a little gloomy and depressing. If you’re living in a rental or don’t have the budget for additional expenses, a major renovation project to add brightness to your home might not be an option. But that doesn’t mean you are destined to suffer in a poorly lit room.
There are several ways to brighten up a dark room without having to knock down any walls or installing a skylight. Just follow these DIY decorating hacks to instantly make your rooms look bigger and sunnier than before.
1. Pay attention to your light fixtures
Although it’s a no-brainer, you need to start by adding light to the room. If you are not happy with your current light fixtures, either replace them with new ones or remove the shades covering the bulbs. What most of us fail to realize is that while fabric shades look pretty, they can block out a lot of light. You can also invest in some tall floor and arc lamps, depending on the size of your room. If space allows, you can even go big with a giant pendant light with an acrylic shade to disperse light all around the room.
If you can’t maximize natural light, using artificial light is pretty much the only alternative. You can also replace your old bulbs with the new LED ones that are easily available in the market. They’ll not only instantly add brightness to your home but also help you cut down on the electricity bill. It’s a win-win situation, to be honest.
2. Choose the right colour palette
You can brighten up a dark room with no windows by choosing the right shade of white for your walls and ceilings. Now, everyone knows painting a room white (or any other lighter shade for that matter) is probably the best way to make a room appear bigger and sunnier.
However, the trick is to choose the correct tone that would complement both your furniture choices and the rest of the décor. This minor hiccup can be easily resolved by checking out what shades of white most interior designers are recommending these days.
Moreover, it’s better to choose a matte finish for the walls and glossy shade for the ceiling instead of doing it the other way around, as glossy walls can create glare while glossy ceilings can equally distribute light.
3. Add mirrors to your décor
In the olden days, people used mirrors to divert sunlight into small spaces. If you are struggling to brighten up a dark room with no natural light, adding mirrors to your home décor is the best way to go forward. Strategically placed mirrors can amplify the light and create an optical illusion to make a room look more spacious and brightly-lit.
If your room doesn’t have a window, you can place a mirror on the wall that reflects the most light to create a fake window. Besides opening up the place, this DIY decorating hack will also change the focal point of the room along with making it look less claustrophobia-inducing. For a better effect, you can frame the mirror to make it look like an actual window or use smaller pieces to replicate an opening in the wall.
Placing a mirror behind a light source can also add brightness to your home.
4. Replace bulky furniture
Big, boxy furniture not only eats up space but also blocks the light, making the room appear cramped and ugly. If there is a dark, bulky coffee table sitting in the middle of your living room, replace it with a smaller coffee table with glass top and small legs, so you can actually see the floor once the light passes through the glass.
The same goes for a boxy bedroom set with a dark-coloured headboard. Since replacing all the furniture could be quite costly, you can start off by getting rid of the headboard. Instead, you can add depth to a room by placing a large mirror behind the bed and installing a pendant lamp in the centre of the room. The bigger the light is, the more it will be reflected, which would make your room look twice its size.
It’s also recommended to have light-coloured furniture in a room that doesn’t receive a lot of natural light.
5. Invest in colourful rugs
Adding colourful rugs to your décor can instantly add brightness to your home. The science behind this is pretty simple. As we all know, dark hues tend to absorb more light, which in turn makes a room look way smaller than it actually is. Meanwhile, soft tones have the opposite effect as they make a room look brighter and in turn, more aesthetically pleasing.
In case you have dark hardwood floors, placing a pale rug in colourful hues would add instant charm to your decor. Moreover, this DIY decorating hack will make your home look much more expensive.
6. Decorate with metallic pieces
Metallic decoration items in gold and silver will not only reflect light but also make your home look more luxurious without any major remodelling or renovation. Apart from metallic mirrors and decorative items, you can also add metallic plant pots to your room.
This will kill two birds with one stone, as a gold-painted plant pot will automatically make your home décor look expensive while the plant will add a burst of colour to an otherwise dark room.
You can even invest in metallic chairs or a metallic table, though it may be a little heavy on the pocket.
7. Use shiny surfaces to your advantage
Filling a room with a lot of shiny, reflective furniture or decorative pieces can make your décor look a bit cheap. However, since glossy surfaces help reflect light, items such as acrylic or translucent table tops, glass cabinets and reflective artwork placed close to a lamp or another artificial source of light can subtly brighten a dark room with no windows.
The trick is to strategically place these items where they could be most useful.
8. Opt for open shelving
Incorporating open shelves into your home décor is a brilliant way to brighten your home. Much like bulky furniture, boxy cabinets can also make a room appear darker and tightly packed. However, if you replace the wooden cabinet doors with glass panels or better yet, remove them completely, it would not only add depth to the room but also make it look larger in size and dimensions.
If you are dealing with a small place, adopting minimalism is probably your best option. Declutter your home and fill up some of the open shelves with succulent plants and photo frames. Make sure to cut down on the visual clutter as well. If needed, you can place wicker baskets on these shelves to store your belongings.
The easiest way to brighten your home is by getting rid of the things that might be blocking the light. Hopefully, these DIY decorating hacks will help you out.